Hollywood has always trivialized death, specifically in the police, gangster, and gang genres. Death seems less tragic because it’s “art” after all. In The Godfather, the baptism of Michael Corleone’s son is juxtaposed against a series of mob executions. I’ll never shake the image of blood gushing out of Moe Green’s eye socket during his leisurely massage. It’s all art in the eyes of Coppola.
From S. Craig Zahler comes his latest crime drama, Dragged Across Concrete. In this tale of a robbery gone sadistically wrong, Zahler follows the path of recently released convict Henry Johns (Tory Kittles) and recently suspended New York detectives Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn).
Just out of prison, Henry returns home to find his mother pimping, while his brother, who uses a wheelchair, plays video games in his bedroom. Unable to find legitimate work, Henry’s friend, Biscuit (Michael Jai White) gets him a job as a driver for an upcoming bank heist.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the badge, Brett and Anthony have been suspended from the police force because Brett was just too aggressive with his suspect and it was all caught on a camera phone. Now temporarily a civilian, Brett calls in a favor with a local thug and gets word of a bank heist. Brett convinces Anthony to surveil the heist and at the right moment relieve the robbers of their stolen riches.
“…Brett convinces Anthony to surveil the heist and at the right moment relieve the robbers of their stolen riches.”
The problem with the heist is specifically the crew that hired Henry and Biscuit. Made of three murder-hungry robbers led by its leader Lorentz Vogelmann (Thomas Kretschmann) and his two henchmen—the Black Gloved Robber (Primo Allon) and the Grey Gloved Robber. Armed with high-powered semi-automatic rifles, they indiscriminately rob and murder their victims with glee and delight and find just as much joy using the fear of death to motivate their targets.